Hoya Influencers: Jessica Barrett (B’07)

Moveo Moti Motum – the Latin phrase defined as “to move, arouse, affect, influence.”  We’re happy to announce our first guest blogger in a series of posts we’ll be doing on the people within the Georgetown community that have moved, aroused, affected or influenced alumni throughout their journey to find career happiness and success.  We hope you enjoy these reflections and will comment on posts that resonate with your own experiences.

As an undergrad and more recently as an MBA student, I have gained an incredible amount of career wisdom in the classroom.

That being said, some of the most influential lessons that have shaped my professional decisions, and my life more broadly, have come from outside the classroom. In fact, I would attribute the top three tenants of my career approach to fellow Hoyas who I’ve crossed paths with since my time on the Hilltop. I am grateful for the inspiration they have provided to me, and hope that I can pass that along to others in the Georgetown community.

  1. Roger C. Altman (C’67), Founder, Evercore Partners – Failure is more important than success. This was the theme of Roger’s speech as the keynote speaker at my MBA graduation. He spoke about how his failures in life have been the best learning experiences, both for acquiring specific job skills, as well as in helping him shape his leadership style. The advice he gave to us was to be prepared for and accepting of failure, and most importantly, to have a positive mindset about it. Handling failures is the most important component for future success. One of my favorite phrases, in Latin, “ex tenebris lux” meaning “from darkness, light”, summarizes Roger’s advice perfectly.

  1. Mary Callahan Erdoes (C’89), CEO, Asset Management, J.P. Morgan – Be a subject matter expert. I had the privilege of working directly for Mary for almost two years. While her leadership style, charisma, confidence, and kindness are all incredibly inspiring and critical components of her success, she is impressively knowledgeable of her industry and the markets, which she has always prioritized. Knowing something critical to your business in more depth and breadth than anyone else makes you an invaluable asset. That concept motivates me every day to make the extra effort to learn more about the function and industry I’m in, and I believe it is what got be hired into my current role. I also see how my knowledge gaps play a more significant role in my credibility than I ever imagined – reinforcing Mary’s message of being a subject matter expert.

  2. My Classmates, (2007), Entrepreneurs, Visionaries, Risk Takers – Take risks + dream big. One of the best parts of being a Georgetown alum has been witnessing my fellow classmates emerge as successful entrepreneurs. From the guys who brought us Sweetgreen, first as a small shop on M Street, to now a national chain, or to my friend who left the art world in London to develop a hotel in the Bahamas with no prior hospitality experience, there are Hoyas across the world who have taken risks and believed that the impossible might be possible, and have made it happen. Seeing that in others is truly inspiring, and as I continue down my professional path with a goal of becoming an entrepreneur myself, I take comfort and encouragement from my fellow Hoyas who have taken big risks and done the same.

Jessica Barrett is a 2007 graduate of the McDonough School of Business and  received her MBA from Columbia this year.  She recently started a new position in business development and sales at pymetrics, a New York-based startup using neuroscience and data science to make the recruiting process more efficient and accurate.  To hear more about Jessica’s career journey, visit http://alumni.georgetown.edu/career/career_154.html.


Blog & Webinar Program Recognized In the Industry


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Alumni Career Services is thrilled to announce that we have received 2 Silver Circle of Excellence Awards from the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE). Both the Alumni Career Services Webinar Program and our very own blog were recognized.  Thank you, readers!

The Alumni Career Services webinar program will have reached over 18,500 registration touchpoints this year via 74 webinars on topics ranging from leadership and mindfulness to industry trends, and job search skills.  Our YouTube archive contains a library of ~250 recorded webinars. Check it out!
We started this blog in October of 2013 as a means of providing quick and interesting  tips, resources, and information and staff reflections to you, our readers.  From Twitter feeds to follow for your professional development to “what we’re reading” reflections, to things to get your office secret santa, we aim to be creative and fun in curating in our content. We hope you agree! If you or someone you know would like to be a guest blogger for us let us know!  Or if there are topics you would like to see us cover tell us and we’ll get it in the queue.


The Wonder of Wunderlist

The Alumni Career Services team recently decided that we have too many to-do lists: some on nicely laid out agendas and printed out lists, some on post its, some in our email tasks, even some on the proverbial back of the napkin.  And the lists are all encompassing: immediate action items, things not to forget, ideas for the future, articles to read… I’m a big believer in process and we definitely needed a process.

A facebook friend mentioned that her husband’s company was using Wunderlist and she would get updates from him on household to-do’s and the latest need from the grocery store. Intrigued, I checked it out. And now I am obsessed.

Wunderlist allows you mange all of your post-its, napkins, papers, and e-lists in one place. It’s simple in its concept and interface but also has organizational capabilities that, let’s face it, post-its can’t provide.  Even better, it allows us to communicate as a team around tasks and action items, interesting things or people we come across, etc, so it becomes part of our shared and collective “brain.”

1.  Create multiple to-do lists for work or for home.  With the growth of technology, our work and home lives are continuing to merge. Why not have one system for both?  I’ve told the ACS staff specifically that they can use this tool to keep track of their grocery list, fitness goals, books to read – whatever is helpful to them personally in addition to professionally.

2. Create shared lists.  I share lists with each staff member so that we can communicate quick to-do’s or topics to discuss at our next meeting.

3. Assign tasks. Similar to creating shared lists, you can assign tasks to staff members.

4. Assign due dates. What’s a good to-do item without a due date associated with it?

5. Create sub-tasks. As with most if not all professionals, one to-do is actually about 10!  Keep track of each of the pieces of a project via sub-tasks associated with it.

6. Add notes. Remind yourself of context or special instructions that accompany a task.

7.  Email directly to your to-do list. This is probably my favorite feature. It saves things from dropping so far down my in my inbox that I forget to follow up. It also saves me from emailing little to-do’s to my staff – I just add to our shared Wunderlist.

8.  Access from anywhere.   Wunderlist syncs across your devices – phone, ipad, and computer.

9.  Filter  your lists.  Either view by category, starred, or today’s to do’s to help you prioritize your day!

There is a free version of Wunderlist in addition to a pro and “for business” subscription that have nominal annual fees associated with them and some enhanced capabilities.  Check it out: www.wunderlist.com

Using Wunderlist already? Let us know what features you like best and how maximize the tool!